Wide receivers have never been more essential to a team's success than today.
With the NFL being as passer-friendly as it is, an offense without a superstar wide receiver will struggle to move the football downfield. The days of solely relying on the run game and defense to win championships are long gone.
Just look at last year's Super Bowl. The Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were both filled with elite pass-catchers. Bottom line: If you don't have an elite wide receiver on the roster, it's imperative to go out and get one.
Luckily, the NFL's talent pool at wide receiver has never been deeper. It's not just veteran superstars either. Young talent at wide receiver in the NFL is at an all-time high. In just the past two NFL drafts, 11 wide receivers have been picked in the first round.
With the position being as stacked as it is, picking the top five wide receivers in the NFL is an arduous task. That said, there are a few wide receivers who are above the pack.
Here are the top five wide receivers in the NFL today.
Top five wide receivers in the NFL 2021
#1 - Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
Davante Adams is right when he says he deserves to be the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL. He's the best wideout entering the 2021 season.
Adams was unstoppable last season. In 14 games, he had 115 catches, 1,374 receiving yards, only one drop and a league-high 18 receiving touchdowns. He also led the league with 98.1 receiving yards per game.
There's nothing you can do but marvel at Adams' production last year. Astonishingly, he was doing all this without a number two wideout. In every game of the 2020 season, containing Adams was the sole focus of the opposing secondary. Still, the wide receiver came out on top in seemingly every game.
#2 - Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
Tyreek Hill may not have led the league in catches, receiving yards or touchdowns, but he made it to number two on the list because of his overall impact on the game.
Hill commands a double team in every snap he plays. If a team doesn't double him, they will be paying for it in no time.
Because he garners so much attention on the field, he opens the field up for the Chiefs' other receivers.
If someone were to make a list of wide receivers most feared by NFL secondaries, Hill would likely be at the top. He has game-breaking speed and acceleration, thus making it impossible to cover him deep. Plus, he's a good route runner and tough to tackle in the open field.
In 2020, Hill had 87 catches, 1,276 receiving yards, and 15 touchdowns. Those are excellent numbers and it'd be shocking if he didn't improve on them in 2021.
#3 - DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals
DeAndre Hopkins being only the third-best wide receiver in the NFL speaks volumes to the sheer amount of talent there is at the position.
Hopkins was terrific in his first season with the Arizona Cardinals. He caught 115 passes for 1,407 receiving yards and six touchdowns. Hopkins had only two drops. He's one of the most assured receivers in the NFL.
Part of what makes Hopkins so good is his ability to go up and make contested catches. Anything thrown into Hopkins' general vicinity will likely end up in his hands, as evidenced by his hail mary catch against the Buffalo Bills.
#4 - Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills
Diggs led the league in receptions, with 127, and receiving yards, with 1,535. He scored eight touchdowns and averaged 95.9 receiving yards per game. His numbers were incredible. He put up career highs across the board.
Diggs routinely beats corners with his top-notch route running. Aside from Davante Adams, no other receiver is as good a route-runner as Diggs is.
If there was one knock on Diggs, it would be his eight dropped passes last season. He needs to clean that up, but beyond that, there is no real weakness in his game.
If Diggs can fix the drops and put up another season like the one he had in 2021, he's likely to climb higher than number four in next year's list of wide receiver rankings.
#5 - Julio Jones, Tennessee Titans
Julio Jones may no longer be the clear-cut number one wide receiver in the NFL, as he was in his prime, but he still makes the list in fifth. Jones, now 32, is still capable of high-level production when healthy.
In only nine games last season, Jones managed 51 catches, 771 receiving yards and three touchdowns. He averaged 85.7 receiving yards per game. If Jones continued on that same pace while playing in the entire 16 games, he would have ended the season with over 1,300 receiving yards. Not bad for a 32-year-old receiver.
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Jones is a physical freak of nature. He's 6-foot-3, 220 lbs., and can run and jump just above anyone. His career has been a highlight reel of making corners look silly.
Now with the Tennessee Titans, Jones may not have the same workload he used to with the Atlanta Falcons. But as long as he's healthy, he's going to be one of the best wideouts in the NFL.